Terry L. Cross, Dean
School of Religion
Thomas Doolittle, Chairperson
Department of Christian Ministries
Lisa Milligan Long, Director
Graduate Program in Christian Ministries
Purpose and Philosophy
The primary purpose of the M.A. in Ministry Studies is to provide training for ministers in light of a growing consensus that ministers in the twenty-first century need more training to be effective in vocational ministry. The program utilizes a modular format that will allow working adults to complete the program with little interruption in their vocational duties. The scope of the program will allow both clergy and lay members to complete a graduate degree in ministerial studies which will positively affect their practice of ministry. The degree prepares students in the foundational theory and praxis of ministry as well as in the social and psychological contexts of the people to whom they will minister. Interdisciplinary in nature, this program presents the foundations and skills of ministry for pastoral staff ministry (e.g. family pastors, youth pastors, lead pastors, worship pastors) and parachurch staff (e.g. non-profit organizations, discipleship associations, social service providers).
The program offers a core of 18 hours of general ministry courses and three emphases for specialization: Leadership Studies, Worship Studies, and Youth and Family Ministry Studies.
The overall goal of the program is to provide advanced understanding of ministry issues in order to prepare men and women seeking to fulfill their calling to vocational ministry in both church and parachurch settings.
Student Outcome Goals
Students completing the M.A. in Ministry Studies will be able to:
- Articulate a basic theological and biblical framework to address issues related to ministry in contemporary contexts.
- Demonstrate an understanding of theories, methods and models from various disciplinary perspectives, (e.g. social sciences, worship arts) for application in ministry settings.
- Implement practical skills for ministry within contemporary and social contexts.
- Exhibit the characteristics and practices of a spiritually mature and ethical minister.
Emphases within the program will attain the following goals:
- Leadership: The leadership studies track will outline key elements in leading organizations; develop a basic knowledge of leadership; acquaint students with a development model for equipping and training followers; focus on the minister’s personal life (e.g., value systems, morals, ethics) as it relates to leadership; and on leading through motivation, communication and conflict leadership (which includes conflict management and resolution).
Worship: The worship studies emphasis is not intended to provide musical skills to the novice worship leader. Rather, the focus of the degree is on exploring the theological and historical foundations of worship in the Christian Church in conversation with contemporary practices of worship. The intent is to enhance the worship leader’s musical ability with a theologically sound understanding of worship, as well as the skills for theological reflection and cultural analysis that are vital for ministry in the 21st century.
Youth/Family: The youth and family studies emphasis enables men and women to minister effectively to children, youth and families in contemporary culture, via exploration of the biblical and theological foundations of ministry, the foundational theories and praxis of ministry, and the social and psychological contexts of the people to whom they will minister.
Completion Requirements for the M.A. in Ministry Studies
Orientation and Research Seminar - Required: 0 Credit Hours
Ministry Studies Core - Total Hours: 18
Leadership Studies Track - Total Hours: 15
Worship Studies Track - Total Hours: 15
Youth and Family Ministry Studies - Total Hours: 15
Ministry Studies Electives - Total Hours: 3
Choice of course in a different track or a special topics seminar
Total Hours in Program: 36
- Applicants must submit a completed Lee University Application to Graduate Studies form (leeuniversity.edu/uploadedFiles/GradApp.pdf).
- Applications are welcome from students who hold a bachelor’s degree from any accredited university, college, or Bible college. Accreditation must be from a regional accrediting association or from ABHE (The Association for Biblical Higher Education). If the applicant’s education is from outside the United States, the applicant’s transcripts and status of the school will be evaluated by the admissions committee and the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries. It is preferred that schools from outside the United States be accredited in some formal fashion.
Applicants whose bachelor’s degree is not in religion, theology, Bible or practical ministry may apply for acceptance but will be required to take up to 12 hours of leveling courses in biblical and theological studies. These undergraduate leveling courses will be taken in addition to the 36 hours required of the M.A. in Ministry Studies. The purpose of the leveling courses is to prepare the applicant for success in the M.A. in Ministry Studies. Upon evaluation of the applicant’s undergraduate transcripts, the admissions committee and/or the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries will determine what, if any, specific undergraduate courses are required to bring the student to a sufficient level of knowledge. The leveling courses must be completed prior to beginning graduate courses. Typical leveling courses would be introductory theology and upper level Bible courses. All leveling courses are available through Lee Online. Applicants who believe they can demonstrate equivalency for religious work or study should petition the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries for consideration.
- Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts of credit earned at all institutions of higher education.
- A preferred GPA of 2.75 in undergraduate studies.
- An essay of about 1,000 words which will provide the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries and the Admissions Committee with a description of the candidate’s future goals. Included in the essay should be a discussion of the following components:
- a description of one’s calling
- a summary of one’s past and current involvement in the life of the local church
- future ministry goals with the use of this degree.
- An interview, either by phone or in person, with the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries or a designated faculty member of the program. In addition to two letters of reference from professors familiar with your work, a letter of reference from your pastor or ministry supervisor is required.
- MMR Immunization Verification (if born after January 1, 1957). The Certificate of Immunization form (leeuniversity.edu/uploadedFiles/Content/health-clinic/ImmunizationForms.pdf) must be completed and signed by a licensed health care provider and returned to the Lee University Health Clinic prior to registration.
- Proof of Chicken Pox Immunity (Required for all full-time students born after 1979).
The university is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students on an F-1 visa. International applicants are expected to apply well in advance of their projected beginning date. All academic records and other credentials must be accompanied by an official English translation. If transfer credit from an institution outside the United States is desired, an evaluation from World Education Services (WES) must be submitted. [Refer to the “Transfer Credit” section under Graduate Academic Policies for additional information.]
In addition to general admissions requirements, international students must supply the following:
- TOEFL Scores: All applicants who are not native speakers of English and who will be attending the university on a student visa, and who are not graduates of an American college or university, are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Information on this test can be attained by writing to TOEFL Educational Testing Service; Princeton, New Jersey, 08540, U.S.A. (or go to www.toefl.org). All test scores should be sent directly from the testing agency to Lee University (Lee University Code: 1401). To be admitted to Lee University graduate studies without English remediation, a minimum TOEFL score of 61(iBT) is required. Remediation requirements are determined by the individual graduate programs.
- Financial Statement: An applicant on an F-1 student visa must supply, on the form provided by the university, sufficient evidence of financial support for the applicant and all members of his/her family who will accompany the applicant to Lee. This requires that the applicant certify that his/her intent is to attend full time and that no employment will be required.
All of the above credentials must be received and approved before a SEVIS Form I-20 can be issued to the applicant.
- 36 graduate level credit hours.
- Three hour project.
- A minimum 3.0 GPA throughout the program.
- The degree must be completed within 6 years of its inception. Exceptions to this will be evaluated by the M.A. Committee for the Department of Christian Ministries.
- After all coursework for the M.A. in Ministry Studies degree is completed, students will be allowed one semester to complete their final project or internship. If, at the end of one semester, the student has not completed the project/internship, the student will enroll in GRAD-591 and be charged a graduate supervision fee equivalent to 1-hour of graduate student tuition for each fall and/or spring semester in which a continuation is required.
Non-degree Seeking and Special Students
Students may register for non-degree or special status without being formally admitted into candidacy in the M.A. in Ministry Studies Program. Such students may take a total of nine credit hours from courses offered in the program.
Exchange Credits Between On-Campus and Online Programs
Students enrolled in the on-campus or online M.A. in Ministry Studies degree program must take the majority of coursework in the specific program in which they are enrolled (either on-campus MINST.MA or online MINOL.MA). Students may, however, elect to take up to 9 credit hours of coursework in the other program’s delivery format. Specifically, on-campus MINST.MA students may take 9 credit hours in online format and online MINOL.MA students may take 9 credit hours in the on-campus format. No special form or permission is required for the 9 credit hours, but the student should speak to her/his advisor prior to scheduling the course.
A student may transfer up to six credit hours from an approved graduate institution or seminary. The courses must have been in areas related to the curriculum of the program and must be approved by the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries. To remain in compliance with university graduate program standards, any grades considered for transfer must be a ”B” or better. In addition, transfer students need to be interviewed by the director before admittance into the program.
The M.A. Committee for the Graduate Program in Ministry Studies
Under the supervision of the Department of Christian Ministries and the Dean of the School of Religion, the M.A. Committee for the Graduate Program in Ministry Studies forms the Admissions Committee for this program. It also oversees the program and its development, offering changes to the Department of Christian Ministries and the Graduate Council of the university.
For more information:
Contact Lee University School of Religion Office for Graduate Studies @ email@example.com